Friday, March 13, 2015

Google wants (us?) to live forever

"Don't be evil" was the formal corporate motto (or slogan) of Google

“The famous Google mantra of ‘Don’t be evil’ is not entirely what it seems.”

“Evil is what Sergey [Brin] says is evil.”
“If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes,” Bill Maris says one January afternoon in Mountain View, California. The president and managing partner of Google Ventures just turned 40, but he looks more like a 19-year-old college kid at midterm. He’s wearing sneakers and a gray denim shirt over a T-shirt; it looks like he hasn’t shaved in a few days. Bloomberg
When I first read about Google's plans for life eternal I thought I'd write a "think piece" about it, but then on researching the thing, I saw that many had trod the path before me. As I read though page after page I saw that Google was not alone, that Silicon Valley was filled with Forbes List billionaires putting oodles of money into research hoping to live forever.  

Reading on, it suddenly struck me that that I had seen this before... Then I remembered where... Aldous Huxley classic, "After Many a Summer Dies the Swan". 

Sergey Brin wants to become the Fifth Earl of Gonister!

Here is a quote from Wikipedia's summary of Huxley's masterpiece:
Written soon after Huxley left England and settled in California, the novel is Huxley's examination of American culture, particularly what he saw as its narcissism, superficiality, and obsession with youth.
Looked at with the eyes of Huxley, I began to think that today's Silicon Valley is nearly beyond parody and then a friend sent me this wonderful send up of the "sharing apps":

Getting serious for a moment, it seems truly "evil" that these Silicon Valley billionaires cannot see that the true health problem today is not eternal life or even a cure for cancer: it is the existence of many millions of human beings who do not have access to even the most rudimentary health care or sanitation. 

I am not asking these mega-geeks to "have a heart", I am asking them not to be stupid. In today's interconnected world which they have done so much to interconnect and which they want to interconnect infinitely, a virus that breeds in some filthy, overpopulated, third world slum, with no doctors and no toilets (near an international airport, naturally) can undergo a metamorphosis into an airborne, killer flu from one day to the next and be in San Jose in a matter of hours.

How can people who are supposed to be intelligent be so stupid? Maybe their intelligence is like "Rain Man" memorizing telephone books. DS


Anonymous said...

We can only hope the aridity of these "thought" criminals 'succeeds'; the death penalty is prohibited and instead they are tried and sentenced to non-parole LIFE IN PRISON! (Hope to be one of their con/temporary jailers!)

Qqvl said...

See also...

(A truly prophetic series...if silly in places.)